B'nai B'rith Applauds U.S. Senate for Unanimous Passage of Bill to Strengthen Fight Against anti-Semitism
(Washington, D.C., Dec. 17, 2020)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
We applaud the U.S. Senate for unanimously passing the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2019. Approval of this bipartisan legislation sends a strong message that the U.S. will not tolerate anti-Semitism anywhere in the world.
The bill provides the State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism with new resources to bolster the fight against global anti-Semitism. It also solidifies combating anti-Semitism as a priority of U.S. foreign policy and will help the Special Envoy confront other governments about this persistent social illness.
We would like to thank Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for introducing the Senate legislation, as well as the Democratic and Republican Senators who co-sponsored the bill and pushed for its passage. We also thank Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), one of the bill’s original co-sponsors, for noting B’nai B’rith’s support of the legislation in her statement on the bill’s passage.
We urge the House of Representatives, which passed its own bill in 2019, to quickly approve the Senate version of the legislation. We call on President Trump to then sign the bill into law.
B’nai B’rith has argued for a State Department Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism since the creation of the position with the passage of the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004. We view the ability of such an official to bring the prestige and authority of the U.S. government to bear on this issue as invaluable to the global effort.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org.
(Washington, D.C., April 21, 2020)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith commends the Senate’s passage of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, a $484 billion coronavirus aid package. The bill includes funds to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program, which gives loans to small businesses and nonprofits suffering as a result of the outbreak. There are also separate allocations for hospitals, economic disaster loans and coronavirus testing.
In a time of national and international crisis, we are encouraged by the display of bipartisan cooperation involved in the passage of this act. We urge the House to follow suit and pass the bill as quickly as possible, to provide much-needed help to small business owners and hospitals around the country.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org
B’nai B’rith International welcomes the Senate’s introduction of the Voting Rights Reconstruction Act bill, which would update key protections against voting rights discrimination to respond to current challenges.
Unfettered access to vote is one of the most basic and cherished freedoms in America. Ensuring free and fair access to the voting booth for all Americans is a vital component of our democracy. We need voting rights reform to guarantee full access to the ballot box.
The bill would restore provisions of the Voting Rights Act, which was passed 50 years ago and has been weakened by federal court decisions over the years.
In 2013, B’nai B’rith spoke out against the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling Shelby County v. Holder, which eliminated the requirement that nine states and numerous counties must seek federal approval before changing their election laws. At the time, we expressed deep concern that the ruling could pave the way for state and local efforts to suppress voting by minorities. We noted then that it was time for Congress to act again to extend the requirement that these states and localities get pre-approval to change their voting laws.
The updated voting rights measure would: Modernize the preclearance formula to cover states with a pattern of discrimination and allow federal courts to order preclearance remedies in the event of voting rights violations; Ensure that last-minute voting changes won’t adversely affect voters; Protect voters from the types of voting changes most likely to discriminate against people of color and those who don’t use English as their first language; Expand the federal observer program; Improve voting rights protections for Native peoples.
The introduction of this measure demonstrates an important will to reform voting protections. Federal oversight of voting rules is imperative. We urge Congress to remedy the loss of protections by enacting this new legislation that addresses discriminatory voting conditions.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original Voting Rights Act. There is no better or more important way to honor the advances won by the civil rights movement half a century ago than to pass legislation in our own time that ensures the hard-fought gains they achieved will not continue to erode. It is time once again to eradicate voting discrimination.
B’nai B’rith urges both parties and both chambers to work together to pass a measure restoring voting protections for all Americans.